Making the decision to spend a semester studying abroad is an exciting prospect. Immersing yourself into a different culture, making new friends, and broadening your worldview by spending a semester in Italy, South Africa, or Japan is an experience you will never forget. If you’re given the opportunity to study abroad, prepare for your upcoming adventure with these five easy steps.
Make Arrangements at Home
The last thing you want is to spend your semester studying abroad worrying about things back home. Before you board your flight for your new temporary home, be sure to make arrangements for your home and belongings here! If you still live at home, you likely don’t have to worry about storing your belongings or paying rent. However, if you live in an apartment by yourself or with roommates, you have a few decisions to make.
Will you keep your place? If so, do you have the means to cover rent while you’re away? If not, finding someone who can temporary rent your room may be helpful. Be sure your contract is clear about your return date and their responsibilities during your leave. Include your roommates in on the interview process to ensure their comfort with your choice.
You can also choose to leave your apartment and place your belongings in storage if keeping an apartment while you’re out of the country isn’t plausible. You may be able to store your belongings with a family member or friend. Otherwise, find an appropriately sized storage unit and move your belongings in for safe keeping. Give a person you trust the key so they a monitor your storage unit for you while you’re away. Other things to arrange before you leave include pet housing, vehicle storage, and bill payments.
Getting vaccinated before traveling abroad is not only important for your health, but for the safety and protection of natives in your host country. Travelling and studying abroad exposes you to new viruses that can be dangerous if contracted. Visit your doctor and tell them of your travel plans. They may provide you with the appropriate vaccines or refer you to a clinician who can. Some countries may not allow you entry without proper vaccinations.
When spending a semester studying abroad, things are bound to happen. Illness or injury when so far from home can be terrifying if you’re not prepared. Explore your international insurance option to ensure you can get the care you need without worrying about expenses. As the name suggests, international insurance is perfect for travelers outside of your home country on vacation, business, or for educational purposes. Let Insurance Consultants International guide you through choosing the best international insurance options for you.
Research Local Customs and Culture
Get excited about your summer abroad by learning more about your temporary home! Learning about local customs, history, and culture can help you connect with your host family and make friends with the locals. Be respectful and gain the most out of the experience by planning place you’d like to visit and things you’d like to experience. When you arrive, ask your hosts for suggestions for places you should be sure to visit during your time off. This trip is a once in a life time chance, so take full advantage of it!
Get Your Plane Tickets Early!
The earlier you can book your flight, the better! Flights are typically at their best prices on a Tuesday six weeks before your travel date. Don’t forget to look for other discounts like student or military veteran rates. Once your flight is booked, be sure to give yourself enough time to pack properly and get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Pack for all kinds of weather and feel free to bring a few keepsakes to remind you of home while you’re off exploring the world!